I love the way NK bottom lined the previous blog about Hurt. “There is a fine line between venting and sharing.” It is indeed a fine line. However, if you can stay with the feeling of hurt without slipping into anger (be it overt, passive/aggressive, or whatever), the line then remains clearly delineated and even becomes more like a huge gap. And yes, this is indeed an art.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of the art is feeling vulnerable to the possibility of attack, rejection, or retaliation if you do express your hurt.
The key here lies in not selling the other person short. We often think we aren’t heard nearly as much as we actually are. In the moment, it may seem your words are not being honored. Know that people do hear you in such moments far more than they may be able to acknowledge.
Also know that just one sentence or phrase can be enough to prompt them to (later, in their quite moments) reflect upon what you have shared. Usually, the problem is not that the person didn’t hear you, rather that you think they did not hear you. If you keep pushing your point, your words may be rejected because they feel invasive or overdone. Oftentimes more can be said in a sentence than in a book.
If they do retaliate, respectful and humble silence may be your most powerful response.